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tv   [untitled]    December 18, 2011 7:01am-7:31am PST

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[applause] >> i was compelled to seek employment in san francisco schools primarily because of superintendent garcia's identification of the achievement gap being the civil rights issue of our times. his mission to challenge and to confront that, this was deeply compelling to me. i actually began my career as a teacher 28 years ago as horaceman, a special ed teacher. i was keenly aware of the predictive power of demographics. i had a special education classroom disproportionately full of young men of color and i spent the next 20 years in the classroom trying to advance my teaching practice and become the kind of teacher that can make a true difference. i won't say anything more other than to tell you that i don't believe that the specific allegations that you have been hearing have merit despite numerous investigations, they have been unfounded.
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however, however, i absolutely believe that the feelings, the parents' feelings behind these allegations have real merit. i have taken their feelings deeply to heart. it is clear to me that some parents have not felt valued and included in our school and i'm working very hard to do a better job of reaching out to families and letting them know that their voice and partnership is essential to the success of our children. thank you. president mendoza: thank you. [applause] >> hi, my name is patty. >> one minute, please. >> i have a kindergarten at paul revere. this is my first year at paul revere. i am here to support the staff and the principal. i have seen how dramatic it has changed for my son in academics
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and responsibility and been accountable of his behavior at school. he is very excited to go to school. he is very excited to see his friends and teachers, but i'm really concerned about what changes can happen in paul revere as being, she was invited to come to the summer school and since then, it has not been very stable. i think a lot of parents feel that what is going to happen next year, should we try to reply again to the school district? it is very unsettled for a lot of parents who are going to paul revere. thanks. [applause] president mendoza: thank you. there was one other speaker that had a card but i didn't call her name, emma, you can come on up as well. go ahead. >> good evening. my name is carl, i'm the parent of a third grader at paul revere. i had the honor of being a member of the committee that
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the district put together last year to help select a new principal in april or may of 2010. it was a very diverse committee throughout the representative of the school, the community of the school and all stakeholders of the school. we looked at six candidates, allowed us to do that. the only person that met the needs of the school was the person with the transformation ballgame which was the principal. she -- you made a commitment in doing that. you made a commitment in having a large voice in the transformation. it's hard. you can run into road blocks. you can run into issues. you can run into allegations that are unfounded. i know something about it. it's my profession. so the only way to make transformation successful is hold the course. hold the course for at least three years and make sure that those key elements of the transformation including the principal and the direction the school has chosen remain in place. otherwise you let down the
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parents, you let down the staff that are here, and most importantly, you let down the kids of our school that are here. i hope you consider that. thank you. president mendoza: thank you. [applause] >> hi, good evening. i'm megan williams. i'm at paul revere. as leaders and representatives of this district, you all are deeply committed to social justice, equity, and to shattering the bribblings of power demographics. we do not want to be able to predict a student's opportunities in life based on the color of their skin or their income level. speaking to the commitment of those values at paul revere for the first time in over seven years and at least seven years, we met our a.y.p. goals in bong language arts and in math. we note that doesn't matter if students don't feel safe and aren't happy. but it also speaks to the fact that they are safe and happy because students cannot learn, you know, when they aren't safe and happy.
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we have made a lot of improvements to our school, but parents want more in our school. anyone who cares and they all do. i am so appreciative to all of the input that so many parents have given over the past years, over the past few months and most recently in a survey we sent home in both spanish and english and so far have 178 responses that say that 76% of them want to move forward with mediation and giving input to our school and to our climate. only 2% said that they would not want to move forward with mediation and i think that speaks to the commitment that our parents and families have with working together forward. i don't want the 76% at least of our communities and families, i don't want their voices overshadowed by a very small number of parents or community members who are not willing to move forward. [applause]
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>> hi, his name is chapel barber, i'm a parent of two kids at paul revere. i'm just here to support sheila salmon. i sent a letter out, i hope that you have read it, more detailed than i can do now, but sheila is an amazing principal. she is so effective. she is so deeply committed to every child at paul revere. she is always respectful and professional in our interactions with the kids and with parents. i have never seen anything -- anything that i would raise my eyebrows out of her. her new policies so clearly demonstrate the values of rigor, consistency and of consequences and also the new policies demonstrate her strong dedication to every child's success in the school. and please i urge you to put an end to the turmoil.
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say you support sheila. just go ahead and tell us so we can move on and continue with our community. president mendoza: thank you. [applause] >> hi, thank you for having us tonight. i have a son in third grade and i have an incoming kindergartener and i'm also a neighbor and i live right across the street. eight years ago president mendoza: your name is? >> kelly schmitt, excuse me. eight years ago when i moved across the street, i would not have put my son there. the screaming, the yelling, the craziness and now as a parent of third grader, i understand it's the vigor and drive of children. and now my son is there. he loves his teachers. he loves sheila salmon. he is having a great time at school and he is performing above grade level and so are a lot of the kids in his class.
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they're testing well. they're behaving well and they're happy to be there. my son would rather be at school come home a half hour early when i go to his classroom. he would rather be with his teacher. he talks about his teachers day in day out, how great they are and how wonderful they are. i hope you can support our school like our children want to be felt that you support our school. [applause] >> good evening, board. my name is gabriel and i did give you a letter recommending sheila salmon and i speak highly of her. i have been teaching over 18 years in different grade levels and i have had many principals in my professional career and one of the things that i admire most about sheila salmon is her ability to provide pedigogy behind her research and
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actions. that's why we're seeing our a.p.i. scores increase. that's why we're seeing better communication amongst teachers and parents in individual classrooms. my classroom is very happy and i'm a second great spanish emergence teacher. i invite you all to come to our school and see for yourself the changes that many of the other voices have voiced here this evening for you. you have to see it. the changes there, sheila salmon is an agent of positive change. it's a change that paul revere needed. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] >> good evening, superintendent garcia, board members. my name is tom garrett, i'm a teacher here in the district for the last 10 years. thank you for hearing me. i trust that you'll carry out this item like you'll carry out all items with due diligence.
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i would ask that you hear the voices, remember the voices that you have heard here tonight, the voices that you may have heard in the past regardsing the principal at paul revere and if i can suggest respectfully that you also talk to current staff members, current certificated, current classified, current custodial, current peras and also talk to past members that worked there last year. i think that will give you a clearer picture of exactly what is going on there. i think it may -- and again, i don't mean to marginalize what you have heard today, those voices, but i think you're only getting a slice of what is actually happening there. i think this may broaden your thinking on the idea. thank you. president mendoza: thank you. that was under a minute, i just wanted to note. [laughter] >> good evening, board, my name
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is antoine jackson. i'm here to support sheila salmon. i first met sheila in 1984-1985 when her mother was my special ed teacher. i was a very dysfunctional misbehaved child and she came to guide me and she took me underneath her wing and i also lived in the sunny dale housing project and when it was heavily infested with gang violence and drugs at the time. she came every weekend to take me to her family house and took me out of my environment and showed me a better life. from then until now, she is still heavily involved in my life. i'm here to tell her that i love her and want to thank her for everything. she is a very positive person. i look at her as my mother, my mentor, my role model, so 245u. -- thank you. [applause]
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>> hi, good evening, i'm lorraine, i have been before you before. thank you for this opportunity. i am a parent at paul revere. i have a fourth grader who started there in the first grade. i am the community school coordinator. i strive to represent the best interests of the entire community always. i wouldn't be in the job if i didn't see it as a way to contribute to the welfare of my community, my child and her friends and classmates. i just want to say a couple of things. many people in this room have written letters to the board. we haven't received any acknowledgement, that's fine. we want to make sure that you do consider them seriously. we also, i want to reiterate something that i have asked earlier and other people have asked tonight and that is that board members come and see for themselves what is happening at paul revere. i think the expectation of the community when such serious charges are leveled is that someone will come and investigate. and if there is any merit to the charges, that the problem will be addressed and that if
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there is no merit to the charges, they will be put to rest publicly. we are waiting for that to happen at paul reveer. as long as it doesn't happen, we are destabilized and divided and distracted from the real work. i am asking you to come, have meaningful conversations with the community. everyone on all sides and to see what is really happening at the school before you make a decision about the future of our school and the fate of our community. thank you. [applause] president mendoza: thank you. do i start? hi, my name is anna jackson. will members of the board, the san francisco union night district sacrifice the core principals of the mission including cultural sensitivity and democratic responsibility
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for the sake of the school reform measured through the physical information such as test scores? i stand before you as a representative of a growing body of agriefed parents who have joined together to demand positive and healthy solutions to the following issues. dismiss the current principal. it appears she has reformed the school by increasing president mendoza: excuse me, i'm sorry. there was no hissing when you guys had an opportunity to speaker when anybody else is at the podium. i would like for you to be please be respectful. not everybody is going to agree on what is being said. if you could please be respectful. go ahead, anna. >> by increasing scores marginally over a course of the year. however, the damage she has done -- do i continue? president mendoza: you need to wrap up. >> ok. her discriminatory practices are a liability to the school district and have already earned negative attention through televised news outlets
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and police reports. this should be a concern to the board as we envision continued media and news reports if she is not removed. president mendoza: thank you. there were a few other names, cards that i had that did not, emma, adam lopez, grande hernandez, eveline, yvonne johnson miller. if your names have been called, would you please come up? otherwise we're going to not have you speak. laura kirk, chapell barber, thomas lindsay. did you speak? ok, sorry. ok. go ahead. >> good evening. my name is thomas lindsay. i am a security guard at paul revere. i have been there since
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september. it's been great for me. it's been an ongoing experience. i deal with a lot of difficult kids, a lot of disciplinary action they deal with. one incident i had with a kid, they just happened to be of color. we have a lot of things going on, you know, at our school, but sheila is doing a great job, the whole staff is doing a great job. it's not a color thing. i'm there every day. latino, black, chinese, i think it's just us really coming together as a community, as a staff, just really being a family, being one unit and just getting on the same page. there are a lot of programs that are taking place and i just, you know, with parent support and with the faculty and staff and just all of us
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coming together, i think it will be a good thing and sheila is doing a great job. president mendoza: thank you. [applause] >> all right, i'm ariane mccarthy. i'm on the list. i want to make sure that you guys are listening to us because we are asking you for a response to this. do you know how irritating and how shocking it was to bring your son to school at 8:00 in the morning and to see racism on a card about your principal who you love. do you have any idea about what has happened at this school? we had -- we are on the path to goodness right now. it is awesome. we want to stay at this school. that says something for a school to be a place where people want to go. we want to stay there right now, but if you remove sheila,
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we're looking -- you're looking at a flight. i wrote you guys earlier today, but i want you to listen to us because a lot of you are just signing papers up there, rolling your ayes. this is serious. this group has taken over and put a dark cloud over our school and volunteers are there every day lovingly don't want to come to school anymore to volunteer because we have a small group of people who are trying to intimidate us. it's serious, you guys. please listen. thank you. [applause] >> [speaking in spanish] >> good evening, my name is brenda hernandez. >> [speaking in spanish]
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>> i came to speak about paul revere, especially about the principal. i don't like her rules, especially the things that have happened with my kids. everything that these people have said are lies. >> [speaking in spanish] >> one thing that i know is that i have the right of an interpreter at the school and we never have one and i have heard of things that happen to my children that i have never been told about. >> [speaking in spanish]
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>> one of my kids is traumatized by the screaming and the yelling that takes place during lunchtime. >> [speaking in spanish] >> so precisely when they get expelled from class, we don't even get a paper explaining why or what are the reasons why he was taken out of the classroom. >> [speaking in spanish] >> i suppose we have -- we should have documentation of why our kid was taken out of class. >> it's not me not liking her or anything like that. it's just that we do not get
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notifications of what happened with our children. >> [speaking in spanish] >> thank you. president mendoza: thank you. >> [speaking in spanish] >> good evening, my name is evelyn. >> [speaking in spanish] >> i come here because i have had a lot of meetings with the principal, a lot from last year. >> [speaking in spanish] >> mistreatment has happened a long time, many times and the wrongdoing was that she rehired the same person that was doing the mistreatment, that was
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mistreating children last year. >> [speaking in spanish] >> so i was at a meeting where this person just came and said, ask for forgiveness to me and my children. >> [speaking in spanish] >> the screaming and the yelling and the mistreatment doesn't stop. the teaching in the spanish immersion classes is not happening. kids are not learning spanish. >> [speaking in spanish] >> homework is in english. work is in english.
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almost all her staff around her speaks english only. >> [speaking in spanish] >> so some of the staff that do speak spanish do not pay attention. i can mention names as i did. president mendoza: you get two minutes for translation. >> [speaking in spanish]
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>> i had a problem four months ago. and in this school, they do not tell you the problems that happen. >> [speaking in spanish] >> so when silent lunch happens, we get no notification. we have no way of finding out why is our son or why did our son spend the lunch in silent lunch. >> [speaking in spanish] >> so as it has been mentioned, kids are not allowed to go to the bathroom. my daughter got her period and
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she got herself stained and she had to remain like that because she was not allowed to go. >> [speaking in spanish] >> i have no problem with anybody in particular. the issue that they do not notify the parents of what is going on at the school and i am working and there is no way for me to find out what is going on with my children. >> [speaking in spanish] >> in previous years, we had people calling us at home and telling us what was going on, but this year that is not happening. president mendoza: thank you. so as we transition, so i'm closing out anyone else speaking on behalf of paul
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revere because you're not, you didn't respond, i'm going to excuse our two student delegates so that they can go home and study for their finals and i have a couple of other folks on our list on public comment, but before i do that, i know that commissioner vice president yee had a comment. vice president yee: i want to thank the parents and staff members that have come forward to at least express their views. i don't actually know who to ask, but dr. gray, maybe you can follow up from me. one of the staff, i believe, mentioned the survey, so what i would like to do is get a copy of the survey and i wanted to also find out when that survey was actually given to the parents and when they had to return it and 100 parents
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returned it out of -- i don't actually know the number of students that actually attended, so i would actually like that number, too. thank you. >> commissioner, do you have a question? >> i had a comment. because i received a packet earlier in the week from a parent that came to the personnel labor committee meeting and that packet was distributed to all aboard members and i believe a copy of the survey which was shown to me was in that packet. so that packet was put in all aboard members' boxes earlier this week and copies were given of that packet, were also given to the deputy superintendent and dr. gray as well. i wanted to make certain that anything that i get, i distribute to every board member. so everybody has a copy of every -- regardless of what the information is i'm getting, i always make certain that every board member and deputy
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superintendent and dr. gray have that information. so there is no one person holding on to it. it's shared amongst all aboard members. i wanted to make that very clear. president mendoza: ok, thank you. the pocket. commissioner. it was distributed -- on thursday. president mendoza: thank you. >> it's in your board packet. thank you, superintendent. >> just to clarify a few things. i have heard lots of people saying this evening they want a response. first of all, this is an ajenda, it's illegal for the board to discuss this. a lot of the issues were personnel issues. you can't discuss personnel issues publicly. i think everybody in this room understands that, but the board has taken into consideration all of the comments. all of us have received that and that's helpful to make a
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decision, but you know, i need to clarify that when public comment comes, people get to say whatever they want, but it's not agenda. the board doesn't get a chance to have that dialogue just to clarify with everybody, ok, thank you. president mendoza: and i want to reassure everybody that we do take this issue very seriously and that we have had many discussions about it and that any decisions that are made will get communicated, but we are hearing everybody's voice and both verbal body language, we hear it all. we see it all. so i want to make sure that everybody understands that we know that this is an issue and we're taking it very seriously. so i have a couple of other so i have a couple of other folks on the request to speak.